For my students/former students. I hate and love you all.
Posts tagged "human"
Cooking made us human! Ash and charred bone, the earliest known evidence of controlled use of fire, reveal that human ancestors may have used fire a million years ago, a discovery that researchers say will shed light on this major turning point in human evolution.
Harvard anthropologist Richard Wrangham has speculated that controlled fires and cooked meat even influenced human brain evolution. He suggests that humans were cooking prey as far back as the first appearance of Homo erectus 1.9 million years ago, just when humans were experiencing major brain expansion, and proposes that cooking allowed our ancestors to evolve larger, more calorie-hungry brains and bodies, and smaller guts suited for more easily digested cooked food.
This is “Mrs. Ples”, the most famous example of Australopithecus africanus from Sterkfontein cave in South Africa. Researchers studying the diet of human ancestors who lived two million years ago in southern Africa have unexpectedly come across a crucial clue to their social structure. By analyzing fossil teeth of australopithecines in Africa, scientists found that the males stayed close to home, while the females dispersed after puberty, just like chimpanzees!
Ancient humans were also mostly right-handed. Scientists from the University of Kansas found evidence of ancient humans’ handedness in an odd place: front teeth. Scratch marks can be used to determine if ancient Homo species, living more than 500,000 years ago, used their right or left hands to process animal hides. During processing, they would stretch the hide by holding one side with one of their hands and the other in their mouth.
There are a whole bunch of implications of this, like the fact that because the brain was lateralized, they probably also had spoken language.